Octorara Area School District is dropping two career and technical education programs after deficiencies were found in an audit by Pennsylvania Department of Education.
District Superintendent Michele Orner said during the May 13 school board meeting there were multiple findings of deficiency in the business marketing and accounting career pathways that can lead to industry certifications and college credits.
Because of the findings, these two course areas would no longer qualify as career and technical education programs where a successful student may receive a state skills certificate. The decision was made to close those areas, and bring in two new ones — computer systems networking and entrepreneurship.
Students will be able to continue with business classes as electives, while the district takes a year to reorganize its business education classes for career and technical education.
Octorara was among 140 high schools to offer such training last year, according to state the Department of Education. The program is not yet offered by a majority of the state’s 500 public school districts.
“We’re just going to take a year off from the CTE certification,” Orner said.
Meanwhile, Octorara will continue to offer a wide selection of in-house career and technical pathways including animal and plant science technology, child care education, culinary, engineering and drafting technology, graphic design illustration, homeland security and protection services, mechanical systems technology and woodworking technology. Students can earn Pennsylvania skills certification in these areas.
In other technology news, the district is hosting its seventh annual OABEST Expo community event on June 1. There will be displays by students and the community highlighting the work of students in the career and technical education programs along with an art show, science fair projects, music, rides and food.
Also, the board will consider the creation of a K-12 instructional technology integration specialist position at its May 20 meeting.